Stroke Archive


Cannabis: A cardiovascular concern?

Marijuana use, which is rising among older adults, appears to heighten the risk of heart-related problems. Cannabis is known to increase heart rate and blood pressure, although high doses can have the opposite effect. Marijuana use has been implicated in causing heart attacks, atrial fibrillation, stress cardiomyopathy, and arteritis.

Taking fewer daily steps still offers protection from heart problems

People who take an average of 4,500 steps each day may have a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, and heart failure than those who take less than 2,000 steps per day.

How to recognize and respond to a "warning" stroke

A transient ischemic attack (TIA) can cause a range of unsettling symptoms, including slurred speech or arm weakness. The symptoms appear suddenly but usually last less than five minutes, which is why TIAs are often ignored or missed. However, two of every five people with a suspected TIA who get an appropriate brain imaging test find out that they actually had a stroke. Recognizing the symptoms and seeing emergency care right away is vital. The mnemonic BE-FAST (which stands for balance, eyes, face, arms, speech, and time) was designed to help people identify the symptoms of a TIA or stroke and to act quickly.

Sweet surrender: Added sugar linked to higher heart risk

Diets high in free sugar—which includes sugar added to processed foods and drinks as well as the sugar in syrups, fruit juice, and honey—are linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

Erectile dysfunction drugs linked to lower risk of heart problems

Otherwise healthy men treated with prescription drugs used to treat erectile dysfunction had a lower risk of heart attacks, strokes, or death from heart-related causes.

Short-term stroke symptoms still need emergency care

People who experience stroke symptoms that disappear in less than an hour, a phenomenon known as a transient ischemic attack, should seek immediate care to prevent a full-blown stroke.

Harvard study: Shingles linked to a spike in risks for heart attack and stroke

A 2022 observational study that included more than 200,000 people found that those who’d had shingles at some point had a 30% higher long-term risk for a major cardiovascular event, compared with people who didn’t have shingles.

Spot the warning signs of 4 dangerous conditions

Sometimes people miss the symptoms of life-threatening conditions such as a heart attack, a stroke, atrial fibrillation, or a pulmonary embolism. To detect the warning signs, people should pay attention to sudden, new symptoms, especially if they include shortness of breath, chest pain, heart palpitations, lightheadedness, confusion, weakness, fatigue, fainting, or a terrible headache. Someone experiencing any of these symptoms should call 911. If symptoms aren’t sudden or intense, and people aren’t sure if they warrant emergency help, they should call their doctor.

Addressing language challenges after a stroke

Stroke is the most common cause of aphasia, a language-based brain disorder that can affect speaking, understanding, reading, and writing. But the brain has the ability to rewire brain cells and recover lost function through a process known as neuroplasticity. Therapy with a speech-language pathologist facilitates this recovery, which is greatest in the first several months after a stroke. Stroke survivors who keep working on their language processing problems can continue to improve for years.

Shingles linked with higher risk for heart disease and stroke

People who have had shingles have a 30% increased risk for heart disease and stroke, says a new Harvard study. Learn more about the risk.

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